Mr. Williamson has not revealed, however, whether Sutherland would, in fact, sail within 12 nautical miles of any of the islands claimed by China.
The Philippines and China, as well as regional neighbors including Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam, have overlapping territorial claims in the South China Sea, a strategic waterway through which $3 trillion to $5 trillion-worth of trade passes annually.
He also urged Australia to step up its response in the region.
Mr Williamson added in an interview with broadcaster ABC on Tuesday: "It's very important that we demonstrate that these are seas anyone can pass through and we'll be making sure that the Royal Navy will protect those rights for global shipping". "What they'll do, at best, is make more regular forays in the region, doing port calls and engaging in more joint training and exercises to make [their] presence felt and to show support in such manner". He added: "The U.S.is looking for other countries to do more. Australia [and] Britain see China as a country of great opportunities, but we shouldn't be blind to the ambition that China has and we've got to defend our national security interests", he told the ABC.
"The more powerful China gets, the more challenging it is for us".
The Philippines has already raised its concern to China over its naming of the undersea features in Benham Rise and may officially notify the worldwide hydrographic body that lists such records, spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said.
The Philippines and China have also agreed to begin by early March their negotiations for a legally-binding code of conduct in the South China Sea, as agreed between the leaders of Southeast Asian bloc and China last November 13, 2017 in Manila. "I think we have to work hard to keep the Americans engaged and to build relations with Japan and India to counterbalance China's rise".
A Merlin helicopter hovers over the HMS Sutherland.
"Both sides agreed to continue discussions on confidence-building measures to increase mutual trust and confidence and to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities in the South China Sea that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability", the joint statement issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.
"So we would like to advise Australia to abide by its commitment and stop making irresponsible remarks on the South China Sea issue".
China and the Philippines were involved in a territorial spat over rights to that body of water two years ago.
Meanwhile, the two also emphasized importance of freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea, freedom of worldwide commerce, and other peaceful uses of the sea.
The media outlet said "China must take revenge and let it [Australia] know it's wrong".
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